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Onward Chicago Remains Unopened Months After Goal Opening Date

Mary Norkol | The PhoenixOnward Chicago, a restaurant near Loyola's Lake Shore Campus, hasn't opened yet despite an initial goal of opening in March.

Construction of Onward Chicago, a restaurant opening under the Hampton Inn near Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus, is undergoing final renovations before their summer opening, although the original goal was in March.

Loyola’s assistant Vice President of Capital Planning Michael Loftsgaarden said the opening is tentatively scheduled for July. The Phoenix previously reported owner and Loyola alum Michael Olszewski aimed to open Onward in March. Construction began in September 2017.

Loftsgaarden said the construction is nearly done, but final touches are still underway.

“[Olszewski] is kind of a perfectionist at heart,” Loftsgaarden said. “He’s very detail oriented and spent a lot of time selecting the right finishes… that took a great deal of time.”

This will be the restaurant’s first location.

A spokeswoman for Olszewski said many new restaurants have a changing target opening date and Onward is no different. She said Onward looks forward to opening tentatively by the start of the school year on August 27.

The restaurant aims to have a fine-dining section, sports bar and outdoor patio, Olszewski told The Phoenix in January.

Loftsgaarden said the renovations cost over $1 million. Olszewski is paying rent for the retail space owned by Loyola without aid, which makes rent cheaper, according to Loftsgaarden.

Onward will fill the space beneath the Hampton Inn along with two other restaurants – Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers and Argo Tea – both of which are already open.

Raising Cane’s opened in March and Argo Tea opened in May.

The cause of the delay is unclear, and Olszewski declined interview requests from The Phoenix.

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